Arrested Allegheny County officer may not return
Allegheny County officials said Monday an internal investigation is under way to determine whether a police officer who was arrested on drug and child endangerment charges will be allowed to return to the force.
County Officer Zena Jenkins, 48, was arrested on Friday by city police officers who went to her Perry North home when she reported that her son stole her Cadillac Escalade.
“Because of the circumstances surrounding this, it would be inappropriate for us to comment ... particularly in light of the investigations currently going on,” said Amie Downs, spokeswoman for county Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
Downs said that Jenkins is “currently on vacation” and that her return is under review pending internal investigation.
County payroll records show Jenkins has been on the force since 1988 and is paid $37.29 an hour. Jenkins, who was released from the Allegheny County Jail on a non-monetary bond, could not be reached for comment Monday.
At the time she was arrested, Jenkins was classified as a “light duty” employee because of a work-related injury.
County officials declined to say how many hours a week she was required to work or where she performed her duties. Downs said police officers on light duty are supervised in the same way as other officers. District Attorney's Office spokesman Mike Manko said it was too early to tell whether any of the cases Jenkins handled will be compromised.
According to a criminal complaint, police who went to Jenkins' home at about 6 p.m. Friday said she “appeared very lethargic, had slurred speech and an unsteady (gait).”
The officers smelled a strong odor of marijuana in the house and saw drug paraphernalia and a partially burned marijuana “blunt.” A blunt is a cigar in which the tobacco has been replaced with marijuana.
When asked about the items, Jenkins told officer that she “couldn't control her children,” according to a criminal complaint.
In addition to drug charges, police accused Jenkins of child endangerment because of the “filthy” conditions in her home: overflowing garbage cans, rotting food and dirty laundry on electric wires.
Allegheny County Children, Youth and Family allowed Jenkins' daughter to take custody of her younger brothers, police said.
Police on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Jenkins' son, Daniel Andre Jenkins, 20, who is accused of stealing his mother's Escalade, which was later recovered in the West End.
Investigators want to know if the Cadillac is the one driven by a man who pulled alongside another SUV on the Parkway East shortly after 3:30 a.m. Friday and fired multiple shots into the vehicle, wounding the 32-year-old driver and her 29-year-old male passenger.
The victims, whose names were not released, are in stable condition.
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Broken water main causes sinkhole that swallows truck in Overbrook
- Strip District, Shadyside startups headed to White House
- PennEnvironment threatens to sue steel giant under Clean Air Act
- U.S. Appeals Court reduces damages in Carnegie Mellon patent infringement case
- Allegheny County will spray for mosquitoes Wednesday night in Munhall and Homestead
- Man accused of killing Brookline woman denied bail
- New interim director to take over VA regional office in Pittsburgh
- Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s banding program a labor of love for avian expert
- Pittsburgh airport improvements noted as CEO tries to expand activity
- Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
- Developers share their vision for Garden Theater block on North Side